Menstruation, Exercise, Health Worker Burnout Among Topics In Short Film Contest : Goats and Soda – NPR



The first movie set of the El Salvadoran stop-motion animation movie “Phosphôros” is a barebones, shoebox-sized COVID-19 care ward usual roughly out of bits of cardboard and material scraps. The nurses are “performed” by matchsticks dressed up like dolls.

Do not be fooled by their diminutive stature: These inches-tall splinters of wooden and phosphorus can act.

In two wordless minutes the movie encapsulates one of the crucial acquainted tragedies of the coronavirus pandemic: A nurse tends to her intubated sufferers across the clock. The sufferers get higher, give thanks and go residence — however by then the nurse has contracted their illness.

Enlarge this picture

Nonetheless from the quick movie Phosphôros, one of many finalists within the WHO Well being For All Movie Pageant

Süsy Serrano/Screengrab by NPR

Süsy Serrano/Screengrab by NPR

As people outdoors the hospital keep it up with their socially-distanced lives, the nurse’s situation worsens till her lifeless physique is draped in a white sheet. Within the bittersweet remaining scene, a pair exchanges a kiss on a playground bench and turns to observe the sundown as their youngster spins on a merry-go-round close by. Life goes on, however the world won’t ever be the identical.

“Phosphôros” is considered one of 56 finalists within the Well being for All Movie Pageant. The competitors, hosted by the World Well being Group, is open to (very) quick movies (8 minutes max) that characteristic international well being issues deserving of larger consideration and sources in addition to attainable options. The pandemic is without doubt one of the many subjects.

Now in its second 12 months, the competitors acquired almost 1,200 entries from unbiased filmmakers from 110 international locations. Winners will likely be introduced on Could 13. All of the movies on the shortlist at the moment are accessible to observe on-line without cost. Members of the general public are invited to share their reactions and pose inquiries to the filmmakers on every movie’s YouTube web page. Remarks left earlier than Could 10 could also be used through the pageant’s on-line awards ceremony.

“Break the silence” is without doubt one of the movies highlighting a community-led initiative. It follows members of the Rhada Paudel Basis as they journey throughout Nepal to dismantle the 40 forms of restrictions nonetheless extensively imposed in that nation on individuals who menstruate.

One of many major hurdles is getting individuals to confess that limitations on mobility, meals and contact throughout menstruation nonetheless exist, even in city areas just like the capital Kathmandu, when many Nepalis insist that such practices are a factor of the previous. As one man says throughout a group assembly within the Bara district, “There isn’t any such discrimination. They’re simply not allowed to prepare dinner meals.” In a later scene a girl says it isn’t an issue for college kids to overlook every week of non secular college throughout menstruation as a result of “they would not have the ability to contact the pencils and books” anyway. Paudel presses individuals of all castes, courses, areas and religions till they change into conscious of the contradictions of their beliefs. Then her group gives training about biology and menstrual hygiene to problem the persistent taboos and restrictive cultural practices.

Different movies profile people on a private quest. Vermont-based ultra-runner and writer Mirna Valerio swims in a glacial lake, runs on rural roads and hikes alongside fern-lined wooded trails in “Operating By way of Boundaries.” She grew to become an energetic outdoorswoman when intense chest pains introduced on by a annoying job impressed her to spend extra time open air to “get [her] well being again.” However, she says, she rapidly discovered that as a result of her “fats” physique is not what individuals count on from an outside athlete, she’s held as much as fixed scrutiny. And as a Black lady she consistently worries that she, or particularly her Black son, could possibly be “mistaken for somebody with less-than-good intentions” whereas out on a path. (Feeling unwelcome and unsafe in nature is a standard expertise for Black individuals and different individuals of colour on this nation). That is how she grew to become an outspoken advocate for inclusivity in outside train. “I need to see that these areas have opened up for everybody. And that folks really feel extra snug, and that they really feel entitled,” she says. “As a result of we are entitled to be out in nature. We’re people, that is what we’re purported to do.”


Different movies depict collaborative fashions of change. A mysterious regional spike in continual kidney illness amongst Central American agricultural laborers is probed in “Photovoice: the voice of these affected by Mesoamerican Nephropathy.” The movie follows the employees as they group up with medical researchers to unearth the unknown origins of the illness, depicting a mannequin for tutorial analysis that views the members of an affected inhabitants as educated contributors fairly than passive topics.

Almost half of the movies submitted to the pageant this 12 months embrace themes associated to the novel coronavirus. Some finalists name consideration to the ripple results brought on by the efforts to comprise the virus’ unfold. In “Kwa Muda” a Kenyan scholar returns residence after his college is shuttered. His mom’s salon has been compelled to shut, so he pushes jerrycans of water in a wheelbarrow to assist his household and provide the clear water to his group that folks want to scrub their fingers.


Within the Portugese entry “Why” (“Porque”) a younger woman performs in a panorama desaturated of colour, visualizing the psychological burden of social isolation on kids, even because the movie acknowledges the need of bodily distancing for the widespread good.


A grand prix, which comes with a $10,000 grant, will likely be awarded in every of three classes: common well being protection, well being emergencies and higher well being and well-being. The classes align with WHO’s international objectives for public well being. Particular prizes will even be awarded for student-produced movies, academic movies focused in direction of youth, and well being fairness movies.

The pageant’s entries will likely be evaluated by a jury composed of humanitarian activists, science journalists, critically-acclaimed filmmakers and WHO specialists. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a WHO chief scientist and considered one of final 12 months’s jurors, mentioned one standards is whether or not or not the movies confirmed a path ahead, “or if not an answer, it is providing you with some hope” — even inspiring the viewers to take motion.

Ilan Moss is aware of for a proven fact that quick movies — and this movie pageant specifically — can dramatically increase the profile of often-neglected well being points. Moss is the pinnacle of media and content material on the Medicine for Uncared for Illness initiative, the analysis and improvement nonprofit that produced considered one of final 12 months’s grand prix-winning movies in partnership with the South African based mostly manufacturing home Students and Gents. That movie, “A Physician’s Dream,” follows Congolese physician Victor Kande and his companions on their profitable quest to develop a revolutionary new remedy for sleeping illness. (The one remedies accessible earlier than this one have been typically extra poisonous than the illness, says Dr. Swaminathan).


Moss says that even inside the international well being group sleeping illness will get little consideration, however profitable a prime prize for the movie garnered a brand new wave of consciousness for the lethal illness. “After we launched the movie it moved individuals, but it surely was nothing in comparison with when this award occurred,” he mentioned. His group has been flooded with requests for screenings, and extra doorways have opened for future analysis funding. “Visibility helps on this world,” he mentioned. “And awards assist get that visibility. You should break via quite a lot of noise to be observed.”

To see which movies will get the highlight remedy this 12 months, tune into the live-streamed awards ceremony on Could 13 on WHO’s YouTube channel.

Emily Vaughn is a contract reporter and audio producer based mostly in Washington, D.C. Her Twitter account is @emilyannevaughn

Let’s block adverts! (Why?)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here